Living in Key West

Two kinds of people live in Key West. Those who love it, warts and all. And those who hate it and plot everyday to get off the island. If you’re not in love at first sight, you’re not likely to shrug off the challenges the longer you’re here. In short, (cliche coming) love it or leave it.

7 ways to move here

How does one move to Key West? There are lots of toss-off answers, like “marry rich” or “rob a bank,” but I decided to take this seriously. Here’s how one prepares to move to Key West.

Why would you leave?

Everyone dreams of living in Key West, a place where everyone knows why you’d move there. What most folks rarely stop to think about: Why would anyone up and leave? And they do. Lots of them.

North to Miami? Nope

Did you know you head east when you drive to Miami? Not north. East-northeast. And mostly east. Trust your eyes at sunrise. Well, except for a couple of stretches like that right turn in Big Pine, which is due south.

The things no one tells Key West homeowners

 

Wow. You own (or rent) your personal piece of paradise. So how come you’ve got bugs, mold and mildew? How come the like-new air conditioning needs to be replaced? Home repairs and maintenance in a sub-tropical environment are not for the faint of heart.
Key West home repair
Florida anole on porch

Hidden charms and frustrating secrets

Lizards. Iguanas. ROACHES. Floods. Hurricanes. Power outages. Crashing cell service. No water. No parking. Traffic headaches. Neighbors so close you hear their toliets flush. And, yet we can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Locals’ tips for island homes

Living in Key West | Part 1: The things no one tells you

Living in Key West | Part 1: The things no one tells you

Ranger Ed is on our roof playing whack-a-mole with the leaks in our solar panels. That's not a place people of a certain age ought be; yet, here we are. Living the dream of home ownership on a mystical, magical tropical island at the end of the road. A place where,...

Living in Key West | Part 2: Coping with grills and termites

Living in Key West | Part 2: Coping with grills and termites

Crikey! How could I forget the island's assault on our outdoor grills? But I did, as a dozen barbecuing cooks reminded me in short order. "Spot on," said a former Floridian, "but you didn't even get into the average lifespan of an outdoor grill." He wasn't alone in...

What’s it really like to live here?

Living in Key West: Let’s treat each other gently

Living in Key West: Let’s treat each other gently

The humidity this morning in the Shenandoah Valley is 47 percent, which Accuweather says is "ideal." Are they freaking nuts? Get me back to Key West, give me 20 points more and I might agree. Ranger Ed and I have been off-island for a week, visiting family scattered...

Get those chairs and tables off Key West sidewalks

Get those chairs and tables off Key West sidewalks

Let me get this off my chest: I hate tables and chairs cluttering Key West sidewalks. I'd throw a profanity-laced screech right here, but my mother would frown since she always considered bad words to be useless filler for lazy minds. I fantasize about knocking the...

Covid cancels your Key West plans? Pack up for Fort Zach

Covid cancels your Key West plans? Pack up for Fort Zach

We'd weathered the will-it-won't-it forecasts of Tropical Storm Fred and made it to the window between never-came-here Tropical Storm Grace and we were headed to Snipes. Then came the text: "I am so very sorry but your captain just tested positive for Covid. And my...

5 (slightly) annoying Key West things and how to get over them

5 (slightly) annoying Key West things and how to get over them

Let's get this out of the way first. What with climate change, Covid-19, and a global plethora of crumbling cultures and governments, not to mention that Amazon Prime's two-day delivery guarantee is now akin to "someday, for sure, but definitely not today," I really...

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